Cecilia Mendez is a first-generation student at Guttman Community College in the Urban Studies program. Through her work with the CUNY DREAMers and her volunteer work with Citizenship Now!, she gained an interest in better understanding democracy, and the political processes around how decisions are made. Cecilia was hired as an intern with the New York City Council as a participatory budgeting fellow. She worked with supporting the residents of the district to come together and share their ideas on how to improve their communities. Her frustration of lack of representation of the Hispanic community, whom decisions were being made for, has driven her to set her goals higher and pursue an education that will help her to make changes in these processes and support the voice of her community. She is applying to programs in political science, sociology and law. Cecilia has also been selected for the competitive CUNY Malave Leadership Academy (MLA), which develops leadership values and skills through experiential civic engagement, advocacy activities, and leadership competency training.
I have always been interested in helping my community grow. I have become more inspired to make changes in the world and for the Hispanic community because of the lack of representation and rights we have in society. Education for both myself and others is one of the keys to making long-term meaningful change. Therefore, I am pursuing a AA degree from Guttman Community College in Urban Studies and a BA in political science. I intend to earn a degree in law so that I can join many others in making real change for marginalized communities.